my vision of the world.

Archive for November, 2010

Is it ok to rob a bank with a gun that has no bullets?

I saw this analogy in the catholic world report and I thought it was worth sharing.

If someone was going to rob a bank and was determined to use a gun, it would better for that person to use a gun that had no bullets in it.  It would reduce the likelihood of fatal injuries. But it is not the task of the Church to instruct potential bank robbers how to rob banks more safely and certainly not the task of the Church to support programs of providing potential bank robbers with guns that could not use bullets.  Nonetheless, the intent of a bank robber to rob a bank in a way that is safer for the employees and customers of the bank may indicate an element of moral responsibility that could be a step towards eventual understanding of the immorality of bank robbing.

I think now it is easier to understand what the Pope was saying about Condoms.

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Breaking up with my girl/boyfriend?

A good friend of mine broke up with her boyfriend. That made me think about the matter…

We are called as Christians to forgive, to accept the flaws, to support, etc. but how much do we have to do it? Where is the limit? 70 times 7 ?  If we keep this way of thinking we are going to marry the first person we date. I don’t have a closed answer either.

I remember when I broke up with my last girlfriend a long time ago. What moved me to do it? First of all I saw she wasn’t someone who share the same point of view about holiness or vocation of mine. I felt that our relationship wasn’t something that would take us both to holiness, it was rather stopping us (I’d say me for sure) from getting there. It hadn’t anything to do with sin it had to do with our vocation in shalom.

Was it “only” that? No. There was the way we connected; or not. At one point I was saw myself complaining I had to call her… that was the point I saw it wans’t working and something had to be done. In my case it was to end it. A relationship with someone is supposed to be something pleasant. We start something because we love someone, of course love isn’t only a good feeling but a decision from the heart. But if there isn’t this feeling in the beginning there won’t be a decision. We have to think we are going to be with that person for our entire lives, so dating is a period of thinking: Can I stand that person for life? Is he/she that different from me? Can we connect? Are we helping or disturbing our way to holiness? Will I be always making a great effort to please that person or this is something natural for me?  I believe it is a mystery… in my friend’s case her boyfriend didn’t valued her enough (that’s my opinion) and he was just showing through his actions how it was going to be  after their marriage.

At the time I broke up my relationship I was praying about it and the Lord gave me a very particular passage from the Scriptures; while I was thinking about what the others (my friends and family) would say or think because I wasn’t regretting much what I was about to do. The passage said: Weep  “one or two days, to prevent gossip; then compose yourself after your grief,” (Ecl 38,18) for me was a big “go ahead” given by the Lord to end it. (The context of the verse is mourning a deceased but it fitted perfectly) Should we forgive? yes! Shaw we not think about this? No. Reflection and prayer, talking and forgiving, thinking about “forever”.

This is a sin of our generation. We never think about something as it’s going to last, we want everything now and it lasts as long as I like it, if I don’t like it anymore I throw away, I change jobs, I block… Virtue is still in the balance. I have to think a relationship as something I start now to last forever but I do need to realize nothing is perfect and what is the time to let go.

God bless our relationships.

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The Catholic Church and Condoms

this post was taken from http://marysaggies.blogspot.com/2010/11/catholic-church-and-condoms.html

I want to make sure I am very clear – DO NOT LISTEN TO THE MEDIA WHEN THEY TELL YOU THE CHURCH IS CHANGING A DOCTRINE!!!

They don’t have any clue about what the Church teaches in the fist place, nor do they have any care for telling us the full truth. They want to make money and create sensational headlines.

If you want to know what the Catholic Church really teaches, it is going to take a bit more work than reading one bad article.

So, here is the deal – the Pope is NOT saying that condoms are a moral choice.
Jimmy Akin has the best summation of the nuances that the Pope is talking about, so I highly recommend you read his post here.

As for other stories:
**Vatican clarifies statements on condoms
**Some call for Vatican newspaper editor to be fired for gaffe on condoms.
**Ed Peters argues that the problem is in the communication of the message, not the message itself.
**Amy Welborn has read the book and has a bunch of comments.
**Thomas Peters explains it all in this video:


The Catholic Mass

This post is directed to Catholics, proselytism is not a goal here. I just want to make us Catholics more aware of the richness of our faith, I wanted to make us see that the form we celebrate of our mass comes from the beginnings of the Church.

Another aspect I think is important to emphasize is the names we call for instance “say” or “hear” the mass, I think (and some fathers agree with me, actually I agree with them) is better to “celebrate” the mass or to “participate” on a mass. This makes us more active and shows more of the spirit of the Eucharist (giving thanks is more active than just saying or hearing).

On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather inthe same place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read,as much as time permits. When the reader has finished, he who presides over thosegathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate those beautiful things.Then we all rise together and offer prayers for ourselves… and for all others,wherever they may be… Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixedtogether to him who presides over the brethren. He takes them and offers praise andglory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice toan acclamation by saying: Amen. When he who presides has given thanks and thepeople have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present theeucharisted bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

St Justin Martyr’s Letter to the PaganEmperor Antoninus Pius (c. AD 155)

 

 

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Christ the king

When I think about this feast there are two images that come to my mind. Both are the Christ “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1, 15); one made by an artist the other is His body the church (Col 1,24).

The first one is an actual image of Christ The king. In my Grandparent’s parish. I used to go there almost every Sunday. This big image is quite impressive to a seven years old boy. The artist was very successful when depicting the magesty of Our Lord. He Stands high above the main altar, Blessing us and sending us at the same time. He looks very sure of himself that inspires confidence even when we think everything is quite “messy” in this world He is still in control.

The second image is  the basement of St. Anthony’s Church at Toronto on the very Sunday of the feast. I see it as an image of the catholic church. Philipinos, Brazilians, Portuguese, Italians, Sri Lankans and other peoples together Showing a bit of their culture and sharing the same faith in the Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe.

This feast makes me think about how great God is and How small am I. The universe is 3×1080 square meters, I’m not even 2 meters tall How Can I think I know anything about anything. I have to put myself in my place and let Him command my life and the universe.

“Thy kingdom come thy will be done.”

What am I doing for His kingdom to really come? I see so many people in this world who have never had an experience with God, who have never experienced His love, and I think I have done nothing to make his kingdom come. It is at this point that today’s readings (specially th gospel) come in my help. Christ is king through His Cross and through his sufferings He reconciles the world with the Father. So it is also through my sufferings, my prayers, my hours of adoration, vigils before the Lord in the communions of the saints I am helping His kingdom to come too. Of course this is an aspect but shining the light of the joy I have received, spreading the Word around me. But most of all to make the values of the gospel more important than anything. To be capable of renouncing anything even good things that could be an impeachment to live the values of the gospel.

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A Prince Charming? No, A Man of God. (a woman’s response)

In response to my post “The Prince Charming”

Here is a feminine vision of the history by Denise Landim.
I want to make clear that the goal here is not to destroy the memory of our “sweet girl dreams” and neither discourage people who watch romantic comedies (I particularly like them too). But I would put a more real vision of what a Christian woman called to marriage, expect or should expect form someone with whom she wants to build a future and be unite with forever.

A Man of God

An overwhelming passion, an unforgettable love and dream wedding, it is difficult to find any woman who doesn’t want that. It’s also difficult to find someone who doesn’t want to live a “romantic comedy” that ends with that kiss in the rain or the” happily ever after”, after all, at all times and in all forms, films and TV insist on promoting the dream of  “the Prince Charming” and the “Fairy Tale”. Often, ourselves, we feed the idea of a perfect relationship with someone perfect who loves us perfectly.

But real love, the one for the whole life, in the real world, it needs more than beautiful eyes, charming smile and a flower on the first date.It needs more than just opening the car door and to remember the anniversaries of  the first date. Gestures of kindness and attention are important to nurture a relationship, they certainly are, but they aren’t enough to make it last.

When we know the Great Love Of Our Lives, the One who surpasses all our expectations, the one that fills us with care, attention, the one who loves us just as we need to be loved, the expected “Prince” turns into a frog and what we seek in a relationship changes. God changes everything! I still want to get married, but not for my own happiness, that too, but that, first, I make the other happy and for us build a holy family. The inversion of values is large, even though the romance still there, and I think it’s important to keep it up and make it resist to the end.

Really? Christian women who want to build a saint family seek a man of God rather than a character in a novel. We want respect more than charm and prefer a God-fearing heart than any wealth. We expect and hope for someone we can trust more than someone who has a well defined body. We expect loyalty and we promise unconditional support. We want someone who, despite his weaknesses, is a fighter(!) rather than someone with a mask of perfection. We accept mistakes when we are not only wanted because of the measure of our waists. We are capable of a great love when we have a “three way” relationship (me you and God ). Ah! And we know that we will not find a spouse who is already a saint (isn’t it women?), but we seek a husband who wants a lot to be one. We would rather build a saint than finding one ready. Women of God do not fear an unfinished work, we fear having to finish it alone.

We really need to ask God constantly and with great faith, the grace to learn to love others as He loves us. For men and women, this will always be the great challenge and at the same time, the right measure for the true “Happily Ever After.”

Here is the original in Portuguese:
http://deniselandimsh.blogspot.com/2010/11/um-principe-encantado-nao-um-homem-de.html

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Why English? (again)

I republished this post because people were asking again. This was actually my second one on this blog.

Why is this Brazilian man writing in English?

First of all welcome to my blog!

Well, before people start to ask I’m going to answer, this blog is in English so more people can read and share their point of view. When it was still  a project I was talking to someone about it and the answer that came the first to my mind was: “Because the Gospel was written in Greek”. I know that I have to explain the phrase. Greek was the language use to everyone by the time of the apostles (even though the Romans ruled the world it was Greek they spoke to the conquered peoples)  so they had to write in Greek in order to speak to the whole world.

In my point of view something like it is just about to happen; in a few years the US will no longer be the greatest economy of the world but people will continue to speak English as an international trade language. So I wanted to use this tool (the language) to have a point of unity to talk to as many people as I can about my points of view. Which aren’t only mine because I share and learn from the Roman Catholic Church.

I’m going to talk about a lot of things, not only christian stuff but everything that’s part of my daily life, and some of my points of interest.

Shalom!